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Ps & Qs: Close to the bone

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I like to live close to the bone— or as my cousin says, “suck the marrow outta that shit!”

I have a very real aversion to becoming plastic; both in the figurative sense of being disingenuous, and in the literal sense of ingesting plastic particles.

“A new Australian study has found people ingest an average of 2,000 microplastic particles a week through food, water, and air — roughly the same amount of plastic in a credit card.” -William Falk, The Week

A good way to tell if I’m living on the marrow is if I’m authentic in my words and actions (#1 of The Four Agreements: Be impeccable with your word.) Being pretentious is strictly a high-fat diet. That’s why life is hard for rich people, because living “high on the hog”  is as far from the bone as you can get. Besides, some things in life are better than money, and while the rest of us may be eating saltine and mayonnaise sandwiches in the back of the wagon, there is no avoiding plastic in the food and water.

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I would think life without the day-to-day worries of food, shelter, and electricity would allow for more self-reflection and inner peace, but it actually seems to foster neurotic tendencies and out-of-whack priorities. Whenever I’m passed by a monster SUV going like a bat out of hell on Highway 82, I have to remind myself it doesn’t necessarily mean they think their time is more valuable than mine (Agreement #2: Don’t assume.)

Maybe they stole it, maybe there’s a hitchhiker in labor in the back, maybe they are used to flying private, but Daddy has the jet so they are trying to catch a commercial flight. I think it’s hard to retain capability and ingenuity when one is part of the pampered and privileged upper class. But don’t get me wrong, just like Dorothy Parker, I’m pretty sure I could handle it.

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“I don’t know much about being a millionaire, but I’ll bet I’d be darling at it.” -Dorothy Parker

Speaking of millionaires, Carbondale’s certainly met her quota. If you’re one of our rich new additions, no offense— (Agreement #3; Don’t take it personally) I’m just trying to figure out why we need another new bank on Highway 133. I mean, with a population of +/- 6,000, why on Earth does Carbondale need six  banks — especially when most people are banking online now?

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All we really need are those retro tubes for depositing a birthday check from Great Aunt Ruth. If banks were really into saving money, they’d just put a few vaults out there in key locations, complete with retro tube and ATM; similar to the way FedEx and UPS strategically place their pick up boxes around town. Eventually, we’ll all need to stop burying mason jars in the yard, and feel secure in the knowledge that our money is safe in “the cloud” (as safe as in a bank, anyway.)

I must admit, the older I get, the harder it is to accept societal changes. I try to roll with the punches, and remember that I am now on the backside of The Hill, but there are things I will never understand. For instance: the emoji text language, the notion that someone is worthy only because he is rich, the appeal of an app that makes your face look twenty years older… seriously?! I’m invested in humanity and I do think there is good in everyone, so I’ll keep showing up (Agreement #4: Always do your best) but I’m not going to lie, there are days when I have my doubts about us.

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I mean, when we boil life down, what is the point of the exercise? Not money — that’s not even real, it’s manmade. Not Snapchat collages, I hope! as everything disappears in 24 hours. Maybe it’s all just a downward spiral to the bone, and with each turn we are a little less concerned with banking and status, a little more interested in compassion, a little closer to our authentic selves. Either that, or we’re just here to fill our bodies, and the planet, with plastic.

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